My hives are scheduled to ship out on Saturday headed for California. I have been a little anxious to take a peek. I haven’t checked them since they were insulated and wrapped two months ago. I was quite happy with what I discovered.
Nine percent of the hives were dead and I’m excited about it. You may think I’m crazy, but this is the lowest percentage of dead outs I’ve had in a long time. Most years it is double this. Also, in the past when I have checked the hives in January I usually find half of them with small to medium clusters – not this year. The hives that did survive look incredible – healthy and full of bees. I will have plenty of strong hives to make the needed splits this spring when they return from California.
As I inspected the hives I identified any that were light weight and filled their in-hive feeder with dry sugar. About five pounds will fill a gallon feeder. This will give them something to eat while they wait for the almond bloom to start in a few weeks. I went through thirty (25 lbs) bags of sugar. I always get funny looks and questions at the grocery store when I get to the checkout with a shopping cart full of sugar. One lady commented, “you must really have a sweet tooth.”
I’m again pleased with the results of wrapping my hives. We haven’t had too much snow so far this winter, but it sure has been cold. The first two weeks of December brought night-time temperatures near zero degrees. I didn’t see any signs of condensation build up on the inside of the lid, but I do live in a desert.